Social media can make or break your customer relationships. It’s not just a marketing channel; it’s a critical touchpoint on the customer journey. Those digital interactions fuel brand impressions and buying decisions, and influence how people talk about your brand to others.
In other worlds, don’t miss an opportunity to earn loyalty. Because the voice of the customer can cause a positive or negative ripple effect for your business, it’s critical to establish strong relationships on your social channels. Inspire your social strategy with three top tips…
1. Build loyalty through engaging social communities
Today’s digital lifestyle is amplifying the power of social media for driving promotions. In fact, an Aimia survey found that 56% of consumers follow brands on social media to browse products for sale. But with literally billions of users on social channels, it’s equally important to invite customers to share their enthusiasm and experiences – and in the process, celebrate your brand. Here are a few great examples:
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- American Express Link-Like-Love – With this Facebook campaign, Amex increases cardholder membership and boosts loyalty through personalized promotions. An app links an Amex customer’s account to their Facebook account, and they receive unique discounts when they encourage people to “like” their favorite deals. It effectively spreads positive exposure, and gives Amex valuable insights on customer preferences to motivate spend. Plus Amex sparks social conversations with clever posts such as inviting customers to fill-in-the-blanks like “This weekend I’m taking my Amex card to ______ with ______”. It plays off people’s love for self-expression while creating a fun way for loyal customers to promote the brand.
- Hilton’s “Our Stage. Your Story.” – Hilton encourages customers to post travel stories on social media channels with the hashtag #HiltonStory, for a chance to win prizes like a 2-night stay at a Hilton hotel. People can even envision their dream trip using a digital travel vision board and share it socially with the #HiltonStory hashtag. It’s a powerful way to stand out in the travel industry without directly selling, and encourages the travel community to increase their Hilton brand loyalty.
2. Nurture brand advocacy with personalized attention
One of the greatest benefits of establishing a strong social media connection with your customers is that they may be more open to growing their relationship with you. These digital channels give your business a unique opportunity to give personalized attention in an otherwise anonymous public venue. Responding quickly with a personal approach – whether solving a problem, sharing helpful guidance, or offering promotions tailored to their interests – can be an effective way to delight customers into saying good things about your brand.
Positive word-of-mouth is no longer a nicety; it’s becoming business critical. More than ever, consumers rely on social media communities for trusted referrals to meet needs and make buying decisions. While they may ask, “Does anyone know a good place to buy…?” more likely, people are influenced simply by seeing others talk about great experiences with certain brands, because that’s the experience they want too.
3. Deepen customer relationships by showing you are listening
To capture ROI from your efforts, view social media as a valuable commodity for growing your business with existing customers. Listen constantly to what people say about their needs, concerns, and preferences. It prepares you to engage customers in highly relevant ways, which helps them feel heard and strengthens their connection to your brand.
Regularly monitoring social media gives you critical insight into how to deliver the experiences that really matter to your customers. Kick it up a notch with social media analytics to capture a broader, big picture view of sentiment about your brand and reveal unmet needs. From there, you can take strategic action to connect with customers in meaningful ways that help grow loyalty.
Given it’s far less expensive to keep existing customers than acquire new ones, social media is often your best opportunity to stay connected and stay relevant – putting you on the fast track to customer loyalty.